Outrageous Siyang City Management Officials

City management fight with poor people in China.

From Tianya: (no longer accessible)

Siyang, in the north of Jiangsu Province, was once the capital city of the ancient Sishui kingdom. In 2006, it had the third lowest GDP in Jiangsu Province. In the last couple of years, they have been busy reforming and opening up, seeking business investment, and carrying out major construction everywhere. However, on October 31, 2008, I happened to go back for business, and on this familiar patch of land, I saw an extremely inharmonious sight: a bunch of “city management”1 surrounding a middle-aged woman carrying a infant in her arms. And yet this woman had not broken any rules, nor did she set up any stall [to sell things on the street]. It was only because she had spoken a sentence of truth.

In Siyang, there is a street called Sizhong Road, where all the small takeaway food/snack stalls are gathered. Ever since I was able to remember things, I knew of this place. I am not clear whether the stalls there have licenses, or whether they got permission from the government to use that land, but it has definitely existed for a very very long time, and people in Siyang almost all know that.

A food street with various vendors, hawkers, and peddlers in Wuhan, China.

On October 31st, at 4pm in the afternoon, a group of “city management” arrived at the scene, and began indiscriminately pulling all the carts [of the stalls] onto their own trucks. On the scene, those who fled, fled. Those who chased, chased. Those who looked on, looked on. It was a scene of chaos. At this time, a woman holding her baby carelessly said, “Enforcing the law like this, and you still tell everyone you enforce the law in a civilised manner?” Who knew this one sentence of truth would actually provoke the countless “city management” officials’ fists and kicks towards her? There were two “city management” members, who utterly ignored the baby in the middle-aged woman’s arms, and aimed their fists at her who was unarmed. That middle-aged woman instinctively risked her life to protect the baby with her hands. She probably did not imagine she would be subjected to the “city management’s” multiple fists without violating any of the “city management’s” rules. And she, being a full-blooded child of North Jiangsu, facing numerous “city management”, unexpectedly and fearlessly did everything she could to defend herself, and she even fought back when there was the opportunity. However, with a baby in her arms, hopelessly outnumbered, she gradually retreated. At this moment, she shouted loudly, “Are you all lawless?” One of the city managers yelled, “I am the law! I can handle things however I want!” So much arroganc and complete disregard of the establishment of rule of law and harmonious society2. Bystanders said in unison: City management are a pack of mad dogs.

Seeing the situation escalate, I took out my mobile phone to call the police. Right then, something out of a movie happened: A middle-aged couple who had been there running a stand, seeing that the above middle-aged woman was close to getting hurt, came over to separate the two sides. Naturally, some physical contact occurred. At this time, the city management reacted swiftly and immediately took out a camera. Click, click, click, the camera shuttered. They told everyone, “That is evidence of you all violently resisting the law, and we’ll focus on dealing with you later!”

Examples of street-side food carts and snack vendors in China

I was stunned that, in this day where we are building up rule of law and harmonious society, such a thing that should not happen, actually happens. “City management,” as those responsible for managing and safeguarding a city’s image, should in the service of the people, but they swung their iron fists against an unarmed baby-carrying by-standing woman, and they turned the law, a public domain, into their privately owned privileges, distorting the truth, brutally enforcing the law (actually putting it this way is also not correct. That woman should not have been the opponent of the city management in the first place, she was merely walking on the street, maybe she wanted to buy something to eat for her child). Some time ago, an ugly incident happened in Tianmen City, Hubei Province, where a man was beaten to death because he took pictures of city managers violently enforcing the law. That story was spread on the net like a wildfire. Someone online said in jest: Give me a squad of “city management”, and I’ll go liberate Taiwan. And now, a similar incident has happened closer to us, it is true.

Even after leaving the scene for some time, my heart still faintly aches. I don’t know if that woman was injured; that baby looks like it was approximately one-year-old, so maybe it already has the ability to remember things, but who knows what kind of memory today’s events will give his young mind. That old couple who tried to break up the fight, maybe their stall was their only source of income, and in trying to save a middle-aged woman they offended the “city management” and became an example of violent enforcement of the law. Later, whether their lives will be affected, I don’t dare to think of. This is not something I, as a small common person who has gone out to work, should think about.

Siyang, the city that is trying to attract outside business capital…I don’t know…if a business person visited and saw this kind of thing, would it reassure him of investing in Siyang? (Does this incident prove that Siuang’s law-enforcement ability is strong?) Or would he sigh and walk away?

I know I can’t change this situation, I only want to type out these words so people online with conscience and a sense for justice can read it and help spread the post. The power of the masses is unlimited. I believe one day city management will no longer be synonymous with hired thugs.

A food stall in Beijing.

Comments on Tianya:

LZ, save your energy. It is just this one incident in Siyang. Trying to plead the law with government here in Suqian is simply no different from “an idiot talking about his dreams” [an unrealistic expectation]. In August, here in Sangxu town, Shuyang, the government colluded with 50 black society3 members to beat up the farmers protecting their agriculture fields. How was this matter handled??

How did they handle the incident where a crowd of over 10,000 people surrounded and beat up police at Xiuyu Middle School?

The two incidents above are the same character as what happened in Weng’an, only without getting so far.
If Zhang Xinshi did not urgently spend some hush-money, who knows whether the incident at Xiuyu Middle School would have escalated into another Weng’an.

Sometimes officials force people to rebel, and people have no chance but to rebel!!

Crows will be black~~~ [this means bad things will always be bad]
Siyang’s talented people have all left, no one will go back~~

Hello,
I am from Shuyang, and the city managers here are the same.
Are there any white crows under the sun?
The other day something like this happened here as well.
It’s not that we don’t have conscience, but if what we see in society is always like this, how do you expect us to be harmonious?
It is fucking nonsense!

There are many places that are all suffering miserably.4
Sigh~~~ Hope that mum is not seriously harmed.

“Harmonious” society. Sigh.

None of the “city management” are any good, only bullying the weak [cowards].

Society has contracted a disease….

“City management’s” power is apparently stronger/more than the PLA. [People’s Liberation Army]

This is what society is like!! Heart breaking!

Society has once again been harmonised by “city management!”

They would even beat a middle-aged woman carrying a baby, these bastard dogs really don’t deserve a good death!!

“City management” have long had a bad reputation. What moral people would normally go work there? Only hooligans and thugs would be willing to be “city management”.

Do not be so surprised! “City management” beating people up also happened in our Dong’an County. A passer-by who took pictures using his cell phone was detained for ten days!

After seeing everyone speaking out so many just words, I feel that at least our Tianya community is a sanctuary. Only thing is, we have been saying these things for so many years, yet has it ever made a difference? No one pays attention to us. We are a bunch of intellectuals in a virtual world amusing ourselves. This is the real embodiment of our nation’s sadness.

A bunch of beasts that deserve to die. This society is hopeless. Fuck.

City managers enforce the law.
And just like that, they believe they are superior than the peddlers/vendors/hawkers.
Using force, city management only need to make one phone call and all the local ruffians and thugs will come to help.
As for the law, would we have as many connections as they do?
This is what inequality is.

Reading all the people’s responses, it seems like China’s “city management” are more numerous and worse than flies, so why don’t we use insecticide against them? One spray cleans a whole area! Best results!

The entire country’s “city management” are bandits. This is our country’s disgrace.

At my home, Dongxiang County in Jiangxi Province, the government mustered over a hundred people, and dozens of cars, and came to our town to openly take the land, beating up the people who protected their fields, and openly arresting some people, and arbitrarily sentenced them without following legal procedures. We petitioned and appealed to higher authorities for years, but the final result was superficial. A perfectly good portion of land was ruined like this and can never again be used for cultivating/planting fields again.

“City management” in our Qingdao are even more terrible. They “enforce the law” during the day and gamble at night, so do you think they would be very rational during the day? Without these people running their small businesses [selling snacks, food, merchandise, etc. on the side of the street] what would our lives be like? What would happen to these ordinary people who do not have a livelihood? Are we supposed to force them to walk a path of crime?

So horrible — “lou zhu,” why did you not keep any evidence?

Sigh, when will Chinese society change back to the old simplicity/honesty, and when will government officials put the people’s benefit as the first priority.

Everyone says sending a car full of “city management” can promptly recapture Taiwan!
If “city management” suddenly become civil servants, will they become even more arrogant and outrageous? [civil servants are “higher” than “city management”.]
Everyone was born and raised by their parents, but do these “city managers” not have any elders/old people in their family, no wives and children? Do they not hurt, love, or have feelings? Are they still human? Beasts, but even beasts won’t hurt people without cause.

I feel very sad for what happened in my hometown.
Having left and now living away from my hometown, the impression I have on others is not bad. When people ask me where I am from, I always loudly reply, “from Siyang,” to let more people know that my hometown is cultivated and has high character.
I do my best to support and maintain my hometown’s dignity, but many times, there are many others from Siyang who also left and work away from home like I did but give others an impression that they are uncultivated and of low character. My heart breaks when I see them behaving like tramps. Much later, I realised, all of Siyang’s true talent had already left their hometown.

This is no different from the tyranny of the landlords in the old society [China before Communist liberation]. Revolt! Revolt!

I suggest everyone go visit Secretary Zhang’s blog, make some suggestions, and do what little you can do to help.
And yes, what is the name of Siyang District’s party secretary again, is it still “shit basin”? [not sure if he is referring to a pun of the Siyang party secretary’s name or if he wants to know who the secretary is to ask why Siyang is still a “shit basin”]

I wonder if Old Hu [President Hu Jintao] knows what happens down there.

I am now wondering whether or not the Nationalist Party/KMT was really reactionary.

Why don’t we still have freedom of expression. I am also from Suqian. Originally I wanted to move my business/venture back home, but now I have to seriously consider this. A place without human rights is a place without further opportunity for development. What we want are results, not violence and concealment.

Harmonious society, letting those ignorant of the law enforce the law, that is funny.

Notes:

1 City management is an agency to crack down on unlicensed street merchants. Due to their brutal way of conduct, they are widely despised by the public. See Chinese City Management Administration and Implementation of Law on Wikipedia.

2 “Rule Of Law” and “Harmonious Society” are initiatives of the Chinese government.

3 Black society is a Chinese term very much similiar to “mafia” or “yakuza”.

4 水深火热 [shuǐ shēn huǒ rè], literally “water deep, fire hot”, an expression for extreme suffering.

Images: These images are not directly related to the original post.

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  • Jay

    So how long are the Chinese people going to put up with all this abuse? Why don’t they do something about it?

  • dave

    How can this writer say, “I was stunned that, in this day where we are building up rule of law and harmonious society, such a thing that should not happen, actually happens.”

    Does he/she not read anything on the internet? This is a China daily event!

  • SniperWZ

    Yeah…local governments are the worst in China, I would argue China needs more central government control and supervision at the local level, have more field offices of the CDC (Central Discplinary Commission) to investigate these things.

  • Sensible

    You will see, revolution is coming!

  • SniperWZ

    @dave, that statement seems to be either sarcastic or a benoe…

  • Fuller

    “a benoe”…christ you’re unbelievable.
    I agree this seems shitty. I was reading the link to Weng-an mass incident (which I had never heard of before) and something I read sparked an interest: lots of people are too willing to believe that the government officials are corrupt, and they’ll believe any story that comes up just because it confirms this pre-existing belief. I wonder sometimes how many of these stories are true, and how many are just rumours that get out of hand. After all, all we have is some random dude’s word on the internet that this actually happened. No photos. No videos. Just his words.

    If this actually happened, yes it sucks, yes government officials are out of control, yes something needs to be done about it. Maybe someone can help find out if this actually happened. Some kind of cross reference from another source or something.

  • SniperWZ

    @Fuller, yep, it turned out the girl committed suicide and the two guys are ordinary locals with no connections to powerful officials. Also remember the college kid from Harbin was supposedly a high flying rich kid driving a M-Benz and with official connections, it turned out he was just another ordinary kid. He obviously smack talked benoes that pissed off the cops though…

    People believe these stories because most likely, they have encountered something similar first hand or heard about true stories of such abuse locally.

    I would have to say I’d believe someone accusing the gov’t rather than the other way around, many local officials in rural/small town China are real corrupt scoundrels, it’s hard to clean up that image when even the official Xinhua news comes out with corruption stories daily.

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  • Terry

    These City Management types are the worst!! Saw a similar incident in the Sun He wet market, eastern Chaoyang district of Beijing even. But then even in the old colonial days of Hong Kong, a game of cat and mouse was always played out between street vendors and the HK version of City Management (but at least they didn’t beat people!!). The truly sad thing about the issue of street food stalls is that a cultural treasure in traditional snack foods such as jian bing etc. is rapidly disappearing from China (yes i know issues of hygiene and public health come into play).

    btw, has anyone noticed in these post Olympic times, that street vendors, touts, beggars etc. have come back into the Beijing streets with a vengeance?

    • baijiansi

      True, i also witnessed (i live in Tianjin) an old lady being bullied by a dozen of these thugs, for no apparent reason. Since i go there everyday to buy my breakfast, i was absolutely stunned to see them brutes slapping her like that. A five-foot, 90 pounds old grandma for Christ sake! She showed me her many bruises the day after the incident, but what can she do? They really act like they own the ‘hood, these worthless SB.

  • waterloo

    Fuck 他们 mothers!!!

    Freeeeeeeddddooooooom!!!!!!

  • caonimadebi

    Just another ordinary day in commie kingdom China.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  • dave

    SniperWZ, a bit of both…..I guess :/ ??

  • pass

    If I was a foreign investor I would be very pleased that the authorities were at least trying to uphold the rule of law. Who the f would invest somewhere where they didnt?

    Furthermore, the cart dwellers are criminals peddling potentially unsafe foods, unlicensed and not paying tax.

    I used to love wathcing the weekly clean-ups in Haikou. Guaranteed fight everytime. Funny thing is only 30-40% of the usual carts were there the nights they’d get raided. Whether they were ‘sacrificial lambs’ or they refused to pay the 20RMB advance notification fee I never found out.

  • Mike

    Fucking thugs!

  • Peteryang

    the first photo is from 3 years ago.

  • Fuller

    @Sniper
    I don’t believe anything I read on the internet unless I can verify it with at least one or two other independant sources. Sure, government officials have the reputation of being corrupt, and that reputution probably comes from true incidents; it doesn’t mean every story is true though. People are just as likely to lie about this stuff for any number of reasons (petty revenge, money, etc.) so I think it’s dangerous to just assume all these stories are true. Granted if it’s reported on a major news site, it’s more reliable, but remember sometimes news stories on the internet are put out for the sake of being fast, not always accurate; it’s easier to delete a post than recall a bunch or otherwise destroy a bunch of newspapers.

    • baijiansi

      Who’s got the most to gain by lying like that on the web? Anonymous dudes or self-preserving government officials? Come on…

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  • michel

    hi draq!

    can anyone explain to me what are exactly the differences (in terms of administrative dept, law enforcement power, ..) between the “city management”, police, public security, …
    seems that they all have a role, but i’m getting quite confused
    thanks,

  • fireworks

    I’ve never heard of the city law enforcement establishment. I thought law enforcement was the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Security???

    Well, these City Management or whatever they are called in Siyang, are heartless, self-serving, brutal THUGS. They are not above the law, they should not forcibly remove personal property without warning or alternative solutions. This goes to show you, these City Management THUGS needs to have an Anti-Corruption Agency supervising their activities.

    No one is above the law including government officials. They should stand trial if they have committed crimes or be sacked for their poor performance.

    In Siyang, the “Chengguan” should have at least offered street vendors the opportunity to license and register their small business which are their livelihoods or relocate to another street with dedicated infrastructure.

    Nowadays, corrupt officials see $ dollar $ signs in their eyes and want to demolish historical or old cultural precincts to make way for their crony business buddies to build gleaming skyscrapers, hotels, malls.

  • Bill Tam

    @ all the dum fucks who say “people will rebel”

    all police across the whole world fucking act like this.
    If you haven’t heard of US police brutality, please get your head out of your asses.

    • baijiansi

      Althought in the West you can do something about it.

  • well

    They are trained to destroy every truth and then present fake version through national media, based on which people make judgement. SAD!

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  • tanh1980

    Where did all the recent content go?

  • Wesley

    Hey, how come these are old posts?

  • http://www.chinasmack.com Fauna

    Hi tanh198 and Wesley,

    I do not understand. What do you mean?

  • http://www.chinasmack.com Fauna

    Hi tanh198 and Wesley,

    Okay, I find out what the problem is. People who were using IE could not see the new posts and only see this post as latest post. I do not know why this happen but I will try to figure it out. Sorry for inconvenience.

  • http://www.chinasmack.com Joe

    Fauna this is happening to me too and I am using Firefox, although IE and Opera works fine for me so its not too big of a deal

  • bossman

    China, just endless source of entettainment every day.

  • sh

    This will be the start of a major outpouring of anger on the streets if nothing is done to control these city management thugs…take the taxi driver issues across the cuntry. the people will in return take the law into their own hands again if pushed further into a corner.

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  • JR

    Chinese are so stupid. They think this is actually the “city administrators” and “city managment” fault.

    The problem stems all the way up from the central government, which in turn stems from the normal every day people that support them. And then they wonder why taiwan, tibet, HK, east turkistan all want to stay away from their stupid crap and protest against them.

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